Last week, Bond University students crowded the Cerum Theatre to listen to an inspirational presentation by Bond alumnus, author and keynote speaker, Perry Cross.
After a near fatal rugby tackle in 1994, at the age of 19, Perry broke his neck, severed his spinal cord and was left a disabled quadriplegic on life support, unable to move from the neck down, unable to talk or eat.
Heralded by media worldwide as a tremendous role model for the human spirit, Perry overcame the odds and confounded experts as he fought to live, then talk, and eventually live life outside the hospital. Perry has now defied his debilitating injury and achieved goals that would test the resolve of the most able-bodied.
Captivated by Perry’s stories last Wednesday, students, staff and members of the community were overwhelmed by his simple yet powerful message that “everything is possible”.
Perry’s impressive list of achievements is testament to his message. At 35 years of age, he is one of Australia's most highly sought after motivational speakers and has addressed groups such as the Australian Cricket Team, the Australian Defence Force and many others.
He was named Suncorp Young Queenslander of the Year, was a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year Awards and runner-up in the prestigious International Communicator of the Year awards. Perry has also travelled to the United States as an advisor to the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of young Australians.
In the 2005, Perry established his own foundation to provide vital support and funds for researchers in their quest to find a cure for paralysis.
Approximately 150 people attended his presentation and raised $300 from gold coin donations at the door. The money raised went to the Perry X Foundation for spinal injury research.
Perry’s foundation is currently in partnership with Bond University, providing funding for a three year spinal injury research project.